Written by By Staff Writer
This video shows the type of gold coin, called a New Zealand 21, that’s being minted to mark the country’s return to the international circuit.
On Thursday , Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country would be reopening embassies and consulates across the globe, as New Zealand and Australia bid to re-enter the World Trade Organization.
The announcement was greeted with much rejoicing, but raised the concern of those who oppose the plan.
Among the more vocal detractors has been the Council of Mineralogical Unions (CMOU), the industry body for the gold industry in New Zealand and Australia.
In a statement to CNN Business on Thursday, the CMOU said: “CMOU has expressed grave concern that we do not have adequate resources to ensure the security of our precious metals and precious mineral sales.
“We believe that the Government is underestimating the scale of the challenge which may be posed by the expansion of consular services internationally.”
The CMOU warned that if the embassy expansion plans go ahead, the government would have to fully fund additional security operations as the New Zealand and Australian economies become a target for foreign terrorists or private companies intent on conducting financial crimes.
But on Thursday, after initial criticism of the development, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern clarified that the government would be providing in-kind support for consular services in exchange for a donation of New Zealand coins from charitable organizations.
A few days before the government’s announcement, the CMOU had signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to encourage gold coins from charitable organizations to be minted in new minted mugs, plaques and plates to be sold around the world.
As part of this agreement, the CMOU said in a statement on Wednesday, the “need to incorporate more secure elements and backing with regards to exports and export sales to ensure that New Zealand has products in the right hands” has been accepted.
More specifically, the association said it understood that security was one of the reasons given by the government for the new consular operations abroad, and that it already had a group in place to “provide support and guidance for these initiatives.”
Gold coins might have a special place in New Zealand’s diplomatic history.
In February , at a ceremony in Wellington, the country’s home of gold, a 1.62-carat coin, which weighs less than two ounces, bearing the legend “Make peace great again,” was officially launched.